"At least it will be fly-fishing," you tell yourself in an attempt to justify the money spent and the time behind the wheel. The first leg of the trip is a drive to Dad's house where we'll spend the night, until about 2:30 in the morning when you'll start the real drive. Dad will talk to you the whole way to make sure you're awake, and the topics will vary widely. From politics he knows you won't agree with, to family members who are trying to complicate lives. Things that will keep you engaged, fishing and hunting trips might also be discussed, but no concrete plans will come of these.
Arriving on the scene, it's exactly how you knew it would be. Cold, wind, snow and coyotes in evidence with the promise of more throughout the day. Some of the dogs you see, like the one that runs the shore opposite of you until it's sure that it doesn't want to get any closer, others you'll only hear. The cold, wind and snow all team up to make you question your motives but when Dad hooks into the first fish of the day the doubts go away. You're here to fish, because you're a fisherman. Everything else are just details that need to be managed.
Atley was trying to manage the cold that was making his hands hurt when he retreated to the truck to warm up. The wind decided to push his fly rod into the path of his closing door right before it came closed with a snap. His anger isn't lost on you, but you assure him that we can build a new one and we can share a rod for the rest of the trip. No big deal, although you feel bad that he's so upset. The tiger trout that you open your day with doesn't make his mood improve, but staying in the truck for a little while warms him up enough to try fishing again.
A new spot, not too far away, seemed to bring the cold wind into greater focus, even if the fishing did pick up. The mistake of not bringing a net is one that you had hoped to get past by this point in your fishing career, but sure enough it wasn't with the equipment you packed. Tailing fish is tough, but it's even harder when you can barely feel your fingers. Some fish are worth it, and the ones that seem to like the Green Hare's Ear that you're fishing for the first time are well worth the effort. A new personal best rainbow is celebrated with a short stint in the truck to warm back up, even the adrenaline can't keep you out there for too long. Losing an even bigger fish doesn't even piss you off, though it may haunt you in the days to come.
Dad and Atley are struggling to find fish. Atley just can't seem to be in the right place at the right time, Dad is refusing to change to a nymph and indicator insisting on staying with the bugger that got him that first fish. A new spot brings some fish to Atley, but Dad just can't seem to make it come together.
Even with a very long, tired, drive looming we still hit up the first spot to see if fishing has improved before calling it a day. Lots of fun looking for fin in the cold, but Spring will be welcomed if it ever shows.
Hope you're as lucky,